"[I]n her vivid, impassioned history of women in rock, We Gotta Get Out of This Place, music journalist Gerri Hirshey takes a long, hard, and lively look at girl groups and divas, punk goddesses and country queens. . . . Hirshey's enthusiastic, unashamedly partisan history captures the energy, the talent, and the sheer unstoppable will of the women who have managed to make their high-volume, gloriously individual voices heard in the macho world of rock and roll."O magazine
We Gotta Get Out of This Place
The True, Tough Story of Women in Rock
978-0-8021-3899-6 • $14.00 • Paperback • July 2002
A provocative and deeply entertaining history of women in rock, from an acclaimed rock-journalism veteran
Rock and roll has traditionally been a boys' game. A male-controlled field, it forced female artists to work twice as hard, usually for half the recognition. No matter the obstacles, however, women have always been drawn to the restless life of the road, to the glamour of the stage, to the need to make a joyful noise.
Beginning in the early days with Bessie Smith, Mahalia Jackson, and Maybelle Carter, Hirshey takes us on a wild ride through a century of popular music and the women who made it. We are whispered to in the dark night of Janis Joplin's soul and pinioned to the studio wall by Aretha's mighty pipes. We listen in as Phil Spector and Ellie Greenwich build the Ronettes' perfect pop moment, "Be My Baby." Joni Mitchell rewrites womanhood, and Debbie Harry and Patti Smith tear it down again. We meet Madonna at nineteen, debating what she's willing to do for a record deal, and find out what Tina Turner thinks of being called a victim. Hirshey gleefully deconstructs vitriol queen Courtney Love, country darling Dolly Parton, neohippie Sarah McLachlan, and provocateur fatale Lil' Kim. Whitney Houston and Cher elucidate the meaning of diva, while Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliott look to the female rock star of the future. Through it all, one of rock's best journalists delivers a passionate history of women in rock that is deft, provocative, and always deeply entertaining.